SMOKING REDUCES THE RISK OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi  102 (8) : 254-265 (Kiyohara C, Kusuhara S.)
Movement Disorders  Nov 16 [Epub ahead of print] (Searles Nielsen S, Gallagher LG, Lundin JI, Longstreth WT Jr, Smith-Weller T, Franklin GM, Swanson PD, Checkoway H.)
The risk of developing Parkinson's Disease has been found to be far lower in people that smoke. Current smokers reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease down to 31%. Those people that have ever been smokers reduce the risk down to 55%. Former smokers reduce the risk to 72%. The risk of Parkinson's Disease therefore effectively increases over time if somebody gives up smoking. These results were obtained by assessing all the possible studies concerning smoking and Parkinson's Disease. Even the risk for passive smokers was reduced to only 34%. What the results do not show is whether those people inclined to be smokers are for some reason less likely to develop Parkinson's Disease, or if smoking has an effect on the biochemistry involved in Parkinson's Disease.
Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are MAO inhibitors. MAO inhibitors are a type of drug (such as Selegiline and Rasagiline) used commonly in Parkinson's Disease. MAO inhibitors affect Parkinson's Disease by maintaining dopamine levels. The main drug in tobacco, which is nicotine, is heavily involved in the activity of acetylcholine, a chemical in the body that affects the activity of dopamine.